Increasing Trial Diversity: Illuminating a New Path to Equitable and Inclusive Clinical Research

Life Sciences, Clinical Trials, Patient Recruitment & Retention,
  • Wednesday, January 27, 2021

What is the full meaning of patient diversity in clinical trials? The lack of equity and representation of minority groups in biomedical research has been an open concern for many years, despite regulatory and private-sector initiatives to change this. Now there is reason to hope for significant change, spurred by heightened awareness of racial discrimination in US healthcare and COVID-19’s disproportionate toll on disadvantaged communities.

But how can clinical researchers strike the correct balance of scientific and ethical imperatives as they capitalize on this opportunity? Is it possible to secure a commitment from internal and external stakeholders? What form should that commitment take? In this panel-led discussion — the first in a series of four — Syneos Health will interrogate how 12 months of global pandemic might illuminate a new path to equitable and inclusive clinical research.

This four-part webinar series will identify obstacles that have to-date, and continue to, stifle appropriate patient diversity in clinical trials; unpack the organizational overhaul needed to effect change; share case studies where sponsors, patients and investigators have come together to overcome hurdles; and explore how policy innovations that might include government-led mandates and incentives can move the industry forward as one.

Register now to hear from experts about how to increase patient diversity in clinical trials.


Stephen Keith, Syneos Health

Stephen Keith, MD, MSPH, Medical Director, Syneos Health

Dr. Stephen Keith brings over 25 years of experience in the biopharma industry in vaccines development to his role as Medical Director at Syneos Health. He joined Syneos Health in 2018 as medical leader, and serves to support Patient Diversity initiatives.

Previously, Dr. Keith held C-level positions at three biotech companies, and was a General Partner at Glocap Advisors, a life sciences venture capital organization. Prior to entering the pharmaceutical industry, he served as Health Policy Advisor to the U.S. Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources, under Senator Edward M. Kennedy.

An MD pediatrician by training and practice, Dr. Keith currently serves on the Boards of Directors of National Medical Fellowships, and Community Health Charities.

Message Presenter
Fabian Sandoval, Emerson Clinical Research Institute

Fabian Sandoval, MD, CEO & Research Director, Emerson Clinical Research Institute

Dr. Fabian Sandoval, CEO & Research Director, has over 25 years of bench to bedside research experience. His diversified research career has been in academia, healthcare systems and the public sector. He received his Bachelors of Science in molecular and cellular biology from Marymount University, and his Doctorate of Medicine from the Autonomous University of Guadalajara, School of Medicine.

Before opening the doors to Emerson Clinical Research Institute (ECRI) Dr. Sandoval’s research activities have included bench research at the National Institutes of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) where he focused his work on Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease, and Cretzfelt-Jakob Disease. At the NIHs’ Clinical Center conducting research in the outpatient Oncology unit, followed by his successful support of an NIH RO1 grant on preventing epilepsy in post-traumatic brain injury patients in adults and children, simultaneously run at the Washington Hospital Center, and Children’s National Medical Center.

Dr. Sandoval served as the Supervisory Research Integrity & Compliance Officer in the Army Human Research Protections Office in the Office of the Army Surgeon General. Responsibilities included establishment, and oversight of Human Research Protection Programs across Army commands. His input has been instrumental in the review, development, and selection of protocols, in addition to education and training for resident and hospital faculty.

He has since started the Emerson Community Clinic, in order to support un-insured patients across the DC metro area, as well as starting the Emerson Diversity Health Foundation, who’s mission is to educate patients and providers in the importance of participating in clinical research and accesses to care.

Message Presenter
Tesheia Johnson, Yale Center for Clinical Investigation

Tesheia Johnson, MBA, MHS, Deputy Director and Chief Operations Officer, Yale Center for Clinical Investigation

Tesheia Johnson, MBA, MHS, is Deputy Director and Chief Operating Officer of YCCI and the Associate Director for Clinical Research for Yale School of Medicine, where she provides leadership and direction in the area of clinical research.

Her career has focused on the development of clinical research programs and support infrastructure. Prior to assuming her current position, she held positions as Assistant Dean for Clinical Research at the University of Vermont College of Medicine and Director of Clinical Trials at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has served as a consultant for several academic centers interested in establishing clinical research programs and as a grant reviewer for the National Institutes of Health.

Ms. Johnson is nationally recognized for her expertise in the design and setup of clinical research programs. She has been an invited speaker at many national and international conferences on topics such as developing funding for central support for clinical research, staffing models for clinical and translational research, training programs for research professionals, clinical research regulation, and contracting and budget negotiation. She has served as Chair and co-Chair for several National Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) Consortium Group/Committees. She sits on the external scientific advisory boards for the CTSAs at NYU and the Universities of Washington, Oregon, Florida, and Buffalo.

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Who Should Attend?

This webinar is for biopharmaceutical leaders who are involved in:

  • Clinical Trial Protocol Design
  • Clinical Operations
  • R&D
  • Regulatory
  • Patient Recruitment & Retention
  • Patient Engagement
  • Medical & Scientific Affairs
  • Market Access
  • Healthcare Diversity

What You Will Learn

In this webinar, attendees will:

  • UNDERSTAND how bias has undermined clinical trials and impeded disease prevention and treatment for years
  • EXPLORE how sponsors, patients and investigators have overcome historic biases to conduct more equitable clinical trials
  • LEARN how the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic may give the key to conducting more inclusive clinical research

Xtalks Partner

Syneos Health

Syneos Health (Nasdaq:SYNH) is the only fully integrated biopharmaceutical solutions organization. Our company, including a Contract Research Organization (CRO) and Contract Commercial Organization (CCO), is purpose-built to accelerate customer performance to address modern market realities. Created through the merger of two industry leading companies – INC Research and inVentiv Health – we bring together approximately 24,000 clinical and commercial minds with the ability to support customers in more than 110 countries. Together we share insights, use the latest technologies and apply advanced business practices to speed our customers’ delivery of important therapies to patients.

To learn more about how we are shortening the distance from lab to life®, visit

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